Monday

30th Nov 2020

Opinion

How enlargement is running out of steam

While the EU's enlargement progress reports have moved closer to capturing the problems of the region, they are still lagging behind in capturing the decline of democracy and rule of law in most of the region.

Opinion

A fork in the road for Serbia

Visa-free travel by Kosovo passport-holders would be an important confidence-building measure, creating a positive atmosphere for negotiations. What Serbia wants is less clear.

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Opinion

'Covid passports' for Eastern Partnership neighbours?

Belarus' incidence of the disease is currently higher than in Italy. Ukraine and Azerbaijan have counts comparable to Poland and the Czech Republic, where the outbreak had an average intensity. Whereas, Georgia compares well with Greece and Slovakia.

Kosovo to restart EU/US-led Serbia talks

Restarting talks on Serbia relations will be the new Kosovo prime minister's top priority, he said, but will the EU or the US lead the process?

Opinion

Why Miroslav Lajčák is the wrong choice for EU envoy

The EU could blow up the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations' reset. Should Miroslav Lajčák indeed be appointed, the two senior EU diplomats dealing with Kosovo would both come from the small minority of member states that do not recognise Kosovo.

Exclusive

Balkan spies 'feed' EU's police database via Czechs

Western Balkan secret services have handed over more the 250 alerts on suspected foreign terrorist fighters since last summer - fed into the EU's police database by the Czech Republic, according to a confidential document seen by EUobserver.

Opinion

Tweaking the EU enlargement process - a view from Kosovo

The Kosovan former ambassador to the EU, and previously EU integration minister for her country, warns that tweaks to the enlargement process could cause confusion and overlap with existing procedures.

Opinion

Enlargement: a missed opportunity

The European Commission just missed an opportunity on managing EU enlargement. Instead of taking a hard look at why it's currently failing, the commission tried to appease the most vocal opponent of enlargement – France – with largely cosmetic changes.

EU to publish new enlargement method

EU hopefuls will know more about the hoops they will have to jump through in future when the European Commission publishes its new "enlargement methodology" this week.

Opinion

Eastern Partnership must now improve media freedoms

The EU can hardly criticise Eastern Partnership countries for disrespecting media freedom. Five EU member states, including current presidency Croatia, came below Armenia and Georgia in the 2019 RSF Press Freedom Index. Bulgaria ranked nine places behind Ukraine.

Interview

Kosovo PM attacks 'mono-ethnic' EU justice

Letting Serb war crime suspects go free while pursuing Kosovar ones only is bad for Western Balkans reconciliation, Kosovo's outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, has said.

Opinion

Does EU have role in stopping backsliding in Georgia?

The EU's eastern neighbourhood is in flux. The collapse of the pro-reform government in Moldova and the stagnation of anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine was recently followed yet by another political crisis in Georgia.

Opinion

Macron's Balkan cordon sanitaire will backfire on EU

Paris is, by default, now steering the EU's overall policy agenda toward the Western Balkans. This seems to be the opening volley and test bed for Macron's goal of recalibrating the entire EU agenda.

EPP wants to re-open accession talks with Balkans

An emergency resolution adopted at the European People's Party (EPP) congress in Zagreb calls on the EU Council and member states to take a positive decision on opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible.

Finland: EU 'not brain dead' on enlargement

EU countries have given a mixed reaction to French proposals on enlargement reform, but ongoing talks did not mean the process had stalled, Finland said.

Exclusive

France unveils new model EU enlargement

Western Balkan countries should become EU members via a new, step-by-step process, France has said in a detailed proposal seen by EUobserver.

Opinion

Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room

Over the years, both real and perceived levels of corruption in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia have remained high. The necessary reforms in those countries, to put it mildly, are not yet effectively carried out.

Opinion

Cleaning up both the EU and Western Balkans

There has been little substantial analysis, since the Macron veto, of why so much money and effort in the Balkans has failed to result in the political and economic transformation needed to prepare candidates for full membership.